Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dash of Life

Elementary Rules of Usage
Strunk & White, The Elements of Style

On a gravestone,
there is a significant mark that is often missed- the dash between the date of birth and the date of death; an engraved summary of all that occurred between two moments in earth time.
Today I am living in the dash.

A dash is, of course, the stuff drawings are made of.
Artists call them lines.

Psalm 19 begins, 'The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line (sound, precision, musical string) has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun.'

The Hebrew word for line in this Psalm is kav. One Rabbi says of kav- "The precision of the universe is likened to a surveyor's tape stretched out to the ends of the earth. This means that the precision of the cosmos is evident all over the earth to any observer."

Maybe that is why John Muir said, "Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe."

A language of line

The Letter
oh, the power in a line
to ascend and descend
arc and loop
open close
thin becoming thick
as thought begets
a river of black-
and there is Life


  1. Living in the dash. What a thought. Some people will have their dash filled to overflowing with memories and blessings. Other dashes will be just that; a small mark with little impact. Your dash my friend will be one filled with beauty and grace and many will call you blessed by God.

  2. Tried to comment yesterday. I am in thought over the dash. May God allow our dash to have an influence that reaches into eternity.

  3. I had to conduct a funeral yesterday and I used the dash as a point in my message. Bless you my friend.